Hmp! What a thought... I kind of wonder what they were thinking. Matthew explains that before the angel had appeared to Joseph, Joseph was planning to divorce Mary quietly. Luke describes Mary questioning how this could possibly happen seeing as she is a virgin. It seems to me that this "Good News" did not feel like good news to either of them at first.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Satan called a worldwide convention.
In his opening address to his evil angels, he said,'We can't keep the Christians from going to church.' 'We cannot keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.' 'We cannot even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that relationship with Jesus Christ.'
'This is what I want you to do angels ... Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!'
'How shall we do this?' shouted his angels.
'Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,' he answered. 'Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.' 'Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children.' 'As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work!' 'Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. Keep the TV, VCR, CDs, and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.' 'Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogues, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.' 'Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so the husbands will believe that external beauty is what is important, and they will become dissatisfied with their wives. Ha! That will fragment those families quickly!' 'Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week'. 'Do not let them go out in nature to reflect on God's wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and movies instead.' 'Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions.''Go ahead, let thern be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so rnany good causes they have no tirne to seek power frorn Jesus.'
'Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.'
It will work! It will work!
It was quite a convention. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there.
...Do you see how disasterous distractions can be? And it's hard not to fall accustomed to them. Especially when "everyone else is doing it." Fortunately, Paul directs Timothy there too. In chater 4 verses 16-18 Paul discribes a time when NO ONE came to his defense. NO ONE was going against the grain as he was. But he says "the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." I've come to realize that sometimes God asks us to do things we're not comfortable with. And often times this requires going it alone. Or so it would appear...How easy it is for me to forget that the LORD is standing at my side.
Paul knew Timothy wasn't perfect. And, thankfully, God knows we're not either. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:13 "If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself." Be encouraged! You're going to get distracted. I'm going to get distracted. But the Lord will stand at our sides forever! He will remain faithful.
Friday, November 18, 2011
"All my sufferings, by admirable management of omnipotent Goodness, have concurred to promote my spiritual and eternal good." -Susanna Wesley
Do Susanna Wesley's words resonate with you? She was a mother of nineteen children. Some of her children made her proud - and some didn't. She lost her home twice - to arsonists. And once, her husband went on a preaching tour for almost a year, leaving her to fend for herself with the children. Yet somewhere along the way, she learned to accept God's sovereignty and to believe in his "omnipotent goodness."
What about you? Is your home or marriage in jeopardy? Are you struggling with children in some way? Has another person's malice touched your life? Then look to the strength of women like Susanna Wesley who know just how you feel. Heed their wisdom and hold fast to the hand of the One who's managing your suffering for your eternal good.
His all-powerful goodness watches over you.
Read 1 Peter 4:12-13
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
I have been blessed with some amazing friends who have been a real encouragement to me. Lots of kind words and knowing smiles have warmed my heart. But, the sweetest suprise was left in my mailbox today. It was a much needed reminder in the form of a letter. This is what it said:
You were made in my image and
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
It is my desire to lavish my love on you
for I am your Provider and I meet all your needs.
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope
Because I have loved you with an everlasting love.
My thoughts towards you are as countless as the sand on the seashore and
I rejoice over you with singing.
You are my treasured possession and
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul.
I want to show you great and marvelous things.
If you seek me with all your heart you will find me.
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart because
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine and
I am your greatest encourager.
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles.
When you are broken-hearted I am close to you.
As a shepherd carries a lamb I have carried you close to my heart.
I will never stop doing good to you and
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.
I have always been your Father and I will always be.
My love for you is mighty and everlasting.